There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
2020 Netflix Halloween Countdown
As crazy as it is to believe, it is already October 2020—it has been a bizarre year, for sure. For the past three years, I have been spending October watching and reviewing some of the spooky, scary, gory, chilling, and horror-themed movies on Netflix. With each review, I will include a table that ranks these movies from best to worst. This year will be my fourth year doing this, and I plan on publishing a new review each day. Some will be from movies that I have reviewed before, but there will be some new movies on here is well. So if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit by watching some Halloween-style movies, then these articles are for you!
The Babysitter: Killer Queen
Cole (Judah Lewis) is still struggling to get his life back to normal after what happened two years earlier, when his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving) and her friends tried to use his blood to perform a satanic ritual. The ritual did not go as planned, however, as Cole had managed to not only survive, but also kill each member of the cult. There is only one problem: no one believes him. No one, that is, except for his best friend Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind).
Kids at school think Cole is crazy, and his own parents think he has mental issues, but Melanie knows what happened that night. Now, Bee’s friends have somehow returned, and they intend to finish the ritual that they had started two years earlier. Unfortunately, the new girl at school, Phoebe (Jenna Ortega), has found herself in the middle of it. Bee’s friends are back and they are hunting Cole. He somehow has to survive until sunrise, but at least this time he is not alone.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Cole & Phoebe (+5pts)
Too Easy (-5pts)
Emily Alyn Lind & The Originals (+5pts)
The Newbies (-2pts)
The Climax (+3pts)
The Origins (-2pts)
Pro: Cole & Phoebe (+5pts)
Cole's story in this movie was more interesting than I thought it would be. Rather than continue his story in such a way that made it seem like he won during the events of the last movie, the filmmakers went another way. Even though Cole survived, he still lost. No one believed what he said happened, so everyone thought he was crazy. Even though he escaped the last movie with his life, the events of that movie ruined his life anyway. It was an interesting direction to take the character in, and I enjoyed everything that revolved around the development of that story, from being bullied by kids at school to being treated like a freak by his own parents.
Then there was Phoebe, who as soon as she was introduced into the movie, I expected she was going to feel like the sort of generic new character that gets introduced in sequels. I expected her to be given a lot of focus, and I did not expect the character to work as well as she did. However, her story was easy to sympathize with, and her personality made it easy to like the character. She was a fiery kid, who was entertaining to watch, but I also liked how her and Cole came together. It was a little coincidental for her to wind up in the middle of the madness, but I liked Cole and Phoebe's dynamic together, I thought both young actors delivered convincing performances that made it easy to relate to their characters, and I thought the development of Cole and Phoebe's relationship together was one of the better things going for this movie.
Con: Too Easy (-5pts)
Much like the last movie, Cole’s survival in this one felt too easy. He was up against antagonists much older than him. They were also either far more physically dominant than he was, or they had deadly weapons, and a few of them had even returned from the dead. Nonetheless, Cole got really lucky a lot, and whenever one of those antagonists did have the opportunity to kill him or get their hands on him, they decided instead to toy with him. I understand this was a silly movie, much like the last movie, and should not be taken too seriously. That being said, I thought both of these movies would have been a lot better if Cole had actually outsmarted his enemies, rather than simply getting lucky left and right.
Pro: Emily Alyn Lind & The Originals (+5pts)
One character who I was not expecting to play a big part in this story was Melanie, but oh boy was I wrong. The filmmakers took what was a side-character at best from the last movie, and made her a prominent character in this one. Her involvement in this story was a pleasant surprise, and I thought Emily Alyn Lind did a great job with the character. Was it an over-the-top, ridiculous performance at times? Absolutely, but this was an over-the-top, ridiculous sort of movie, so her performance worked.
I also was not expecting to like the involvement of the antagonists from the original movie. If you saw the last movie, then you will know why I was skeptical of their presence in this one, but once they were introduced in this movie, I thought their presence made sense—as much sense as it could make for the ridiculousness of this movie. The original group of antagonists were played by Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Andrew Bachelor, and Hana Mae Lee. Each of their characters had a different, exaggerated personality, but they each served their purpose and I thought their presence in this movie was crucial to my enjoyment of the movie. Without them, this would have felt too disconnected from the first movie, and it would not have been nearly as entertaining as it was. Was there lazy writing all around them? Yes, but the performances leaned into the ridiculousness, and I thought the movie was a lot more exciting whenever any of them were on screen.
Con: The Newbies (-2pts)
The new group of cult members—other than the leader—were underdeveloped, and were sort of just tossed to the side as quickly as possible. The filmmakers introduced these characters, and it seemed like they were going to play a major part in the story. Then the antagonists from the last movie showed up, and the filmmakers sort of just discarded the newbies to make room for the originals. They also got no real development, and I did not care about them at all, so I did not really mind them being taken out of the story. However, I thought the filmmakers should have stacked the deck against Cole more than they did in the last movie, and keeping these newbies around—and giving them more character development—would have gone a long way in doing that.
Pro: The Climax (+3pts)
Cole was lucky straight through to the climax of the movie, and his luck did not stop there. Fortunately, while Cole did not really contribute anything to the climax, I still enjoyed this scene quite a bit. It was climactic, but it was also personal. It was what this whole movie was leading up to, but it was also a fitting climax to the greater story of both movies. It also had a twist ending that went in the protagonists favor, and there was even some comedy regarding how characters reacted to the twist—specifically Robbie Amell's reaction—as well as comedy regarding what characters witnessed the ending. The climax was not action packed, but it was a personal, climactic finish that wrapped up this story in a satisfying and entertaining way.
Con: The Origins (-2pts)
For some strange reason, the filmmakers of this movie decided to show us how Bee recruited each of the cult members from the last movie. They did this through periodic flashback scenes that added nothing to this story. They disrupted the pacing of the movie, they took me out of the movie, and none of them were even entertaining—except for Robbie Amell's, and even that one was only mildy amusing. These were random scenes that contributed nothing to the movie, but they kept taking me out of it. Fortunately, these scenes were over and done with pretty quickly, and there was only a few of them, but they left me wondering what on earth the filmmakers were thinking by putting these in here.
Grade: C+ (79pts)
The Babysitter was a ridiculous, comedic horror movie. It was pretty silly, but it was decently entertaining, so when I found out Netflix was making a sequel, I was certainly looking forward to it. I was not expecting much from The Babysitter: Killer Queen, nor did it exceed those expectations. I figured that as long as this movie was on the same level as the last one, then I would at least get some mild entertainment out of it. That was exactly what I got out of this movie, but there were still some surprises along the way. I was pleasantly surprised with the role that the filmmakers went in with Melanie's story, and I thought Emily Alyn Lind did a great job with it. Then there was Cole's story, which was a lot more interesting than I was expecting it to be, as even though he survived the events of the last movie, those events still ruined his life.
I liked seeing the return of the antagonists from the last movie, as they kept this movie entertaining and they pretty effectively connected this movie with the last one. I also really liked Jenna Ortega's character, and I enjoyed watching the relationship between her character and Cole being developed throughout the story. Unfortunately, much like the last movie, Cole sort of just lucked his way through this one, which I thought made everything feel too easy. However, this all led to a climax that, while it was nothing mind-blowing, it was climactic. It served as a climax for both movies, it had a twist, it had some comedy, it had some personal character drama, and it wrapped up the whole story in a neat bow. Was this a great movie? No, not at all, but it was entertaining enough for what it was.
Train to Busan
In the Tall Grass
The Babysitter: Killer Queen
Hold the Dark
Would You Rather
The Open House
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House